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By Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Mahanidana Sutta, "The nice Discourse on Causation," is the longest and so much precise of the Buddha’s discourses facing based coming up (paticca samuppāda), a doctrine in most cases considered as the foremost to his whole educating. The Buddha usually defined based bobbing up as deep, refined and tough to determine, the distinctive area of noble knowledge. So whilst his shut disciple Ananda, involves him and means that this doctrine is probably not as deep because it turns out, the degree is determined for a very profound and illuminating exposition of the Dhamma. This booklet features a translation of the Mahānidāna Sutta including the entire doctrinally very important passages from its licensed observation and subcommentary. an extended introductory essay discusses the wealthy philosophical implications of the sutta; an appendix explains the therapy of based bobbing up in response to the Abhidhamma approach of conditional family members. The Translator Bhikkhu Bodhi is a Buddhist monk of yank nationality, born in long island urban in 1944. he's shortly the President and Editor of the Buddhist ebook Society.

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Additional info for The Great Discourse on Causation - The Mahānidāna Sutta and Its Commentaries

Sample text

Ordinarily these terms denote the realms of existence, the three tiers of sarilsara into which rebirth can take place. But because rebirth into each realm is brought about by a particular kind of kamma, the word "existence," according to the commentaries, comes to be transferred from the realm proper to the kamma conducing to rebirth into that realm. x Since rebirth-existence includes birth, the exegetical tradition interprets the existence that conditions birth as kamma-existence-the kamma of the previous life that generates the succeeding birth and sustains the vital forces throughout the entire span of life.

In the standard exposition of dependent arising the sequence moves from contact to the six sense bases. In the Mahiinidana Sutta, however, the Buddha bypasses the six sense bases entirely and goes back a step to bring in mentality-materiality as the condition for contact. To dispel the perplexity this unfamiliar move might provoke, he then introduces a striking passage, not found elsewhere in the Canon, giving a methodical demonstration of his statement. As the passage employs several technical terms not defined either here or in other suttas, interpretation cannot be settled by scholarship alone but also requires reflection and intuition.

With that step description has deviated from its proper pathway, for what is discov­ ered within experience has been used to describe what can never be discovered but only presupposed-an unjustifiable move. The theorist, however, does not recognize his mistake. Because he starts with a "set- The Great Discourse on Causation 32 tied view of self," whatever he encounters, whether in his reasonings or his meditative attainments, will only go to confirm his preconcep­ tion. In this way an unexamined assumption at an earlier stage becomes the basis for a firmly grasped error at a later stage.

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